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Sandy Hook Massacre, Another Demand for Social Change!

A senseless tragedy.

Nothing is more sad, horrific, senseless and devestating as what happed on Decemebr 14th at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

What in the world causes a 20 year old man to go on a rampage where 20 children and 7 adults have been slaughtered, then he kills himself?

The children screamed “I just want Christmas!” and “I don’t want to die!”  Can one even fathom a child screaming in such terror two weeks before Christmas?  Six year olds!  Innocent, little lives, most likely excited about the up-coming Holiday and making their Christmas wishes to Santa Claus last night, brutally slain this morning.  What will be the “excuse” for him this time?

Preliminary reports about the killer,  Adam Lanza, state he was “a regular guy,” with no signs of “antisocial or dangerous behavior.”  This type of hidden monster is becoming all-to-common today in America!  While we worry about terrorists, the madness is among us hidden behind masks of sanity!

Schools, shopping malls, movie theaters, federal buildings, on the streets on any given city, no one is safe anymore!

No matter how henious the crime, we are never, ever hardened to the devestation that any “unknown” lunatic can snap and end the life or lives of innocent people and children!

Lanza also killed his mother, with her own guns, assault weapons.   She was reported as the “nicest woman” who gardened, played Bridge, had community ties and was a “wonderful person,” and spent her life trying to HELP her “sick” son by those who knew her.  What went wrong with her son, Adam?  What did he hold against her as this mass killing must be related to his relationship with her and/or his family?  Why did she purchase these guns?!

I am tired of hearing televsion psychologists scream that “this can’t go on!”  They say “These people need help!”  When the killer comes across as “an average guy,” how do we get them help?  Who sees it coming?  This problem runs far deeper than that!  Our country’s values, family institutions such as marriage, child-rearing, community-involvement, compassion and empathy for fellow human beings is deteriorating at such a rapid rate that events like this tragedy will not cease until America returns to basics!

Society is quickly losing the meaning of happiness, importance, love and ambition.

Through Social Media, text messaging,  isolation, lack of care and consideration for what is truly the essence of life we have become narcissistic, self-absorbed, angry, entitled, and so “all important” that human life becomes as cherished as a gum wrapper!

Forget “gun control,” and metal detectors!  Forget “getting help” for these narcissistic antisocials!  The very nature of those disorders are the inability to think they need help at all!  Teen suicide, bullying, the under-development of social norms and personality are just getting started!  There will always be guns, or other weapons and until we gain a more “back-to-basics” approach to raising our children, and ceasing the social isolation this country has fallen into, disaster of such magnitude is immenent.

Reports so far have found out that this killer spent countless hours in a “windowless” basement room of a “million dollar house,” playing the video game “Call of Duty” for hours and hours…days upon days….He had pictures of guns and war on these walls…now, innocent children and adults are dead and so is he.   He smashed his hard drive, and answers are sought as to why?

Do I think video games are to blame?

Yes.  Because of their content?  Maybe.  But moreso because they seduce children, with undeveloped brains and the inability to truly understand right from wrong, into hours and hours of consumption, keeping them from socialization that is so much needed for them to gain personalities, morality and empathy!

The liberal media cries for “gun control” while ignoring the core issue!  Yes!  Perhaps assault weapons serve no good purpose in our country!  They are designed for killing.  Law Enforcement and the Military need these, but individuals do not.  The Second Ammendment is for Citizens’ protection from a Government with arms.

The media also cries for “Mental Health Care” for these children.

Sure!  That’s true too!  However, these killers are the types that fall through the proverbial “cracks,” are super intelligent, and will resist “help” when offered!

What is needed is a “back-to-basics” approach to community, family, marriage and morals!  These are what’s MISSING and causing children to become internally angry, depressed, entitled and unpredictable!  Parents too often let the children stay “glued” to video games, and computer-activities believing they are “safe” from the world’s evils, but alas, this is exactly where these “evils” are born!

Kids need kids to learn who they are.

They need to speak to adults and each other to grow emotionally.  Video games do not foster such development!

I have branded this condition in America as SOCIALCIDE™ and my up-coming book Socialcide™: How America is Loving Itself to Death will hopefully bring answers to this devestation and social change by guiding people to real living again!

My heart and constant prayers truly go out to these poor innocent victims and their families for this psychopath’s rage.   There is no excuse, but only responsibility!  That responsibility is your’s, mine and particularly anyone who is, or is planning, to bring children into this world today!   Parenting is a full time job, not a necessity, luxury or something to “fit-in” to your “busy schedule!”

Leo Battenhausen, MSW, LCADC, is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire, a blogging community created by Annie Jennings.

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3 Responses to "Sandy Hook Massacre, Another Demand for Social Change!"

  1. tacitus says:

    Hi Leo, I came to this blog after listening to your segment on Relevant Radio this morning, but I must say that I was very disappointed to read this article you wrote about the root causes of the Sandy Hook massacre.

    To be frank, you’re argument is little different from that of all the other gun apologist who have been making the talk show and news channel circuit over the last few days. You mention guns only to dismiss them with a wave of the hand. This is both wrong-headed and dangerous, given that it will merely help continue the trend that makes America unique amongst wealthy western nations.

    Like those in the gun lobby are doing, you deflect any criticism by immediately zeroing in on video games as the core issue behind Sandy Hook and similar massacres, but if that’s the case, then why are spreed killings and multiple shootings only such a major problem here in America and not elsewhere?

    Violent video games are just as popular in Western Europe and other developed nations as they are here in the US. Just look at any top ten 10 of current video games sales and you will find games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, Grand Theft Auto, Saint’s Row, filling up the slots. Grand Theft Auto, the poster child for irresponsible gaming, sold equally well in the UK, for example, and yet Britain doesn’t have an epidemic of spree killings on its hands. Why is that if violent video games are the core issue? (I should add that the same goes for other violent entertainment, like movies and TV shows which again, are very popular in other countries too.

    The UK has had two spree killings in the last 25 years. According to the Washington Post, Sandy Hook was the seventh where five or more people died in 2012 alone. That’s more than 15 times the rate of mass killings in the UK (per capita). In the UK, they happen once or twice in a generation, in the US they’re happening every few weeks.

    So, if British kids can consume violent video games without turning into mass killers, then what else is different. You mention mental healthcare, which you dismiss as being impossible to make a different in cases like Lanza. I would actually tend to agree, though there is plenty of evidence that Lanza was a troubled teen — and his mom was concerned enough to take him out of school and teach him at home. But, it is true that access to mental healthcare in the UK (thanks to the National Health Service) is better for the large section of the population that needs it most — the poor and deprived. However, Adam Lanza was neither poor or deprived. His mother was getting $250,000 per year in child support payments from her wealthy ex-husband, which was more than enough money to get her son the best mental healthcare money could buy.

    So, if it’s not video games, and it’s not lack mental healthcare, then what is it? What makes America so different when it comes to mass killings? Is it poverty, deprivation, some kind disconnect with society? Maybe, but again, let’s compare the UK with the USA. While murder rates are far higher in the US, the UK is equal to or even surpasses the US when it comes to other types of violent crime, like assaults and rapes. Earlier this year there were riots in the British streets that have been blamed on a sense of alienation and resentment in the face of austerity measures that have impacted the poor more than any other segment of society.

    So again, when you look at crime rates, the UK isn’t really that much different from the US. If violent video games are the cause of violent crime (not that there is any real scientific evidence to support this assertion), then it would seem to indicate that if it’s the cause in the US, it’s also the cause in the UK.

    But… again, not with spree killings like Sandy Hook, so again, we’re looking in the wrong place. What does that leave us? What is the one major difference between these two countries concerning a major factor in the shooting deaths of 20 little children?

    Yep, you guessed it. Guns, or more precisely, the easy, unrestricted access to guns afforded Americans under the guise of Second Amendment rights. After the Dunblane massacre in 1996, the UK, which already had very tough gun control laws, clamped down even further, banning whole classes of firearms and ensuring that the remaining guns are kept secure and out of the hands of criminals. As a result, gun crime is almost non-existent when compared with the US. Bullets are so scarce that some armed criminals are having to resort to making home-made bullets to use in their crimes (which tend to be much less lethal than the real thing. Here, in the US, any criminal can walk into the nearest WalMart and load up on a year’s supply, no questions asked.

    The bottom line is that if Adam Lanza didn’t have easy access to a powerful arsenal of weapons, he would almost certainly not gone out and killed 20 children last week. The guns were all legally held (as are at least 50% of all guns used in mass shootings) so it’s not an issue of clamping down on criminal access to guns, it’s an issue of availability. Without guns, Sandy Hook doesn’t happen, no matter how quietly deranged Lanza was.

    America is alone in being an armed society (twice as many guns as the number two on the list) *and* has the fewest restrictions on gun ownership in the western world, by far. Other well armed nations, like Switzerland and Israel have far stricter laws governing gun safety and access. Thus it belies all common sense to claim that the combination of these two factors has nothing to do with the frequency of mass shootings in this country.

    The lack of any meaningful gun control in America is the elephant in the room, and yet you dismiss it out of hand as having anything to do with the shooting. I am not foolish enough to believe that we can remove hundreds of millions of guns from circulation, Given America’s love affair with the gun, I know that any form of meaningful gun control is not going to be easy to achieve.

    But until gun apologists like yourself face up to the fact that America has a gun problem, then nothing is going to change. You can ban all the violent video games you want, but it’s not going to stop the spree killers, because they don’t create spree killers (as shown by the the lack of them in other video game playing countries). If you want to live in an armed society then you need to take responsibility to make sure that it is safe for everyone, not just those who walk around armed to the teeth.

    Gun control works. Gun violence is almost non-existent in the UK when compare to the US, and murder rates are only a 1/5th of America’s even though violent crime is just as common. Why? Because of the unique lethality of guns — they are, quite literally, killing machines, it is what they do.

    Two friends of mine are dead today because they owned a gun. This husband and wife got into a raging row (she was leaving him because of his increasingly irrational behavior was endangering their kid’s safety), so he went and got his gun and shot her, and then himself. An old colleague of mine, who could not have been more careful when it came to gun safety, spent five years in prison after he discovered his wife in bed with his best friend and shot him (not fatally, fortunately). Another friend of mine is mourning a teenage niece of hers after she found a gun in her grandparent’s house and shot herself.

    What is the common thread between all these tragedies? They all had easy access to a gun in the house. Without their guns, it’s almost certain that these people would still be alive today. In fact, the data shows that women are actually less safe in their homes if there is a gun in the house.

    Anyway, I think you get my point. I would be interested to read your comments on my argument, and I hope that you will let this post through moderation in the interests of encouraging a debate that is sorely needed in this country.


  2. tacitus says:

    P.S. You can probably tell that I am from the UK, but I have lived in Texas for the last 20 years, so I am pretty well versed in American societal and political issues.

    Oh, and a word of advice from one writer to another — go easy on those exclamation marks!!!

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